Construction Updates

Steel Shipment and Ongoing Fabrication – July 2017

The first shipment of steel pieces for the new Johnson Street Bridge has been loaded onto a barge in China and will travel down the Yangtze River to Shanghai. Once it arrives in Shanghai the steel will be loaded onto a heavy lift ship in and transported to British Columbia.



The components being shipped include the north and south rings, the lower counterweight and the temporary structure (false work) used to support the various components of the bridge during erection. The steel will be offloaded at either Ogden Point in Victoria or at the Fraser Surrey Docks depending on the Victoria cruise ship schedule.



Once the steel arrives in Victoria it will be transported to Point Hope Shipyard. The second shipment of steel is expected to leave China in September and arrive in October. The trusses below are being prepped for painting.



Steel Fabrication – June 2017

The steel fabrication has experienced two delays and the current status at both the ZTSS and QuayQuip facilities is as follows:

  • The rings and lower counter weight are in the paint shop and undergoing surface preparation in advance of coating
  • The north and south trusses are still in the vertical fit-up assembly position – the position the bridge will sit in while in operation – to allow ZTSS to continue with the trial assembly.
  • ZTSS is currently installing outriggers and walkways on the exterior of the north and south trusses while it is in the vertical assembly position.
  • Span support segments are under fabrication at QuayQuip in Tianjin and are currently in various stages of machining. Trial fit-up is for these elements is scheduled to start on June 20.

Vertical Assembly







Span Support Segments









Steel Fabrication – March 2017

With the horizontal fit-up completed, the trusses and the rings are now being stood upright in the position they will be installed in here in Victoria and are supported at each end. Many of the critical components such as the deck cross beams and counterweights are installed and their dimensions are checked. This will allow the engineers to check their calculations to ensure the steel fabrication meets the design standards.



















Steel Fabrication – February 2017

Work is continuing on the steel counterweight that will help raise and lower the steel span. The horizontal fit-up of the steel structure continues, as well as work on the welding of the rails that will be attached to the rings and serve as tracks that attach to the machinery inside the bascule pier.







Steel Fabrication – January 2017

Steel fabrication work continues on the span support segments by QuayQuip in China.







Steel Fabrication – December 2016

The arc plates that being fabricated partly in Tianjin, China are being installed at the  ZTSS plant site by QuayQuip, a Dutch managed specialist in fabrication of similar machine parts. For more about the project taking place at QuayQuip, a video highlighting the work being done on the new bridge elements can be viewed here:




Steel Fabrication – November 2016

Work on the south ring continues as welds are made and then checked by the quality control inspectors to ensure they are of the highest quality.


Work is also progressing on the welding of the orthotropic steel deck that will connect the north truss and the south truss and act as the structure that cars, bikes and people will drive, cycle and walk across



Work is continuing on the south ring rail that will connect the bridge structure to the machinery in the bascule pier


Quality assurance checks continue to ensure the highest quality of steel is being fabricated




Steel Fabrication – October 2016

Steel fabrication continues in China with ongoing welding work on the south ring upper counterweight, as seen in the picture below.
welding of S ring upper counterweight

Featured below: Contractors Quality Control and Inspection performing ultrasonic testing of the walkway stringer welds. Walkway stringers are the steel pieces that hang off the main span to support the walkways.
CQCI was performing UT of walkway stringer welds

Also featured below: Segment D U-rib bolting areas. The U-rib is the “U” shaped channel on the underside of the deck and the holes and plates are to bolt it to the adjacent section.
OSD SEG D U-rib bolting areas and connection plates were re-blasted_1
OSD SEG D U-rib bolting areas and connection plates were re-blasted_2

Steel Fabrication – September 2016

Steel fabrication continues in China with work on the counterweights that will help balance the bridge during the raising and lowering of the bridge span. The outriggers that will connect the pedestrian walkway to the bridge are also being fabricated.




Steel Fabrication – August 2016

The steel fabrication process has advanced to the trial fit-up stage. Project director, Jonathan Huggett, is currently in China during one of the key steps in the steel fabrication processes. The steel “fit-ups” are currently taking place to ensure that all the pieces of fabricated steel fit together. They will be fit together horizontally and vertically and then machined flat to ensure they all fit together properly.





Progress is also being made on the orthotropic steel deck, the counterweights that will help balance the bridge when it’s raised and lowered and the outriggers that will secure the pedestrian walkways to the bridge.




The pictures below are aerial views of both the north and south rings being trial fitted to the north and south trusses. These form both sides of the bridge structure.  The components are laid flat to fit the truss to the ring. The interfaces have to be machined flat until the fit is nearly perfect. The assembled components will then be stood up vertically and the fit up process will be carried out again. While the components are in these positions, various welds and attachments are being made, which could not be easily done while inside the fabrication shop.




Steel Fabrication – July 2016

The steel fabrication is focused on the rings, the outriggers (pieces that will connect the pedestrian walkway to the main bridge structure) and the counterweights and bridge deck.


North ring welds are ongoing


The counterweight that will help raise and lower the bridge is being fabricated now


Inspections of the steel rings is also ongoing. This photo gives a good sense of scale to how large the rings are.


Welding of outriggers – the pieces that will connect the pedestrian walkway to the main bridge structure is currently underway.


Steel Fabrication – June 2016

The steel fabrication continues to progress with the majority of the work now being focused on completing the rings. In order to work on both sides of the rings, they need to be flipped over. The following series of photos show how the rings are flipped over outside the steel fabrication facility using a large crane.






Machinery Fabrication – May 2016

A trial assembly of the bridge support sections recently took place in Birmingham, Alabama. A total of four sections like the ones pictured below will support the new steel rings on the bridge.


JSB Assembly

Machinery and Steel Fabrication – April 2016

Steel fabrication continues with the Orthotropic Steel Deck being welded and assembled.


The progress of the machinery is also moving forward with several of the pieces now completed, paint has been applied and the pieces will be prepped for transport to Victoria.



Steel Fabrication – March 2016

Work is progressing on the ring and truss fabrication. Below is an overhead view of the factory floor in China where workers are welding the two rings. One of the trusses is complete and in storage, while the other is also pictured below.


Bridge Machinery – February 2016

The project steel engineers (Hardesty and Hanover) inspected the bridge machinery during a visit to Steward Machine in Birmingham, Alabama on December 10/11, 201 and significant progress is being made on all the bridge machinery that will help raise and lower the bridge. The pictures below show the various pieces and how they fit together.


Trucks are the upper pivoting part of the assembly that hold two wheels, and pivot on a machined shaft connecting it to the unit below. Below that is the intermediate and primary equalizers, each of which pivot to support the sections above.


Trucks and wheels are already fabricated and work on the sub-assembly of these elements has started. Primary equalizers and their bases are in fabrication.


The bases alone represent 40,000 pounds of steel each . The total assembled weight of each of the four bases is 240,000 pounds.


Drive shafts are installed in the hydraulic motors and are integrated with the pinion that drives the rack on the ring to open the bridge.


Sidewalk and Landscaping Upgrades – December 2015

Significant sidewalk and landscaping upgrades to Michael Williams Green (the area along Wharf Street in front of Market Square) have also been completed, along with landscaping work along Esquimalt and Harbour Roads near the Delta Hotel.



Steel Fabrication Update – September 2015

Steel fabrication continues and the crews are finalizing plans for a trial assembly of the bridge pieces to ensure they fit together properly.

Rings are progressing, with the north ring nearing completion and  the south ring is following close behind. On the south truss, the web and middle flange elements are fully fabricated and being fit into the truss before the final welding will start. This next step will seal the trusses permanently. The north truss is undergoing some final joint welding before it will be assembled into the final truss.


The lower counterweight for the bridge is assembled into major components and the final assembly of the lower counterweight will follow next month. On the steel deck, the floor beam fabrication is complete with the deck panel production to come next.


Overall, much progress has been made and the quality of work and quality control remains at a  high level as expected.


Steel Fabrication Plant Visit – May 2015

Steel fabrication resumed in March. An improved Quality Management Plan and Inspection and Testing Plan are now in place at the steel fabrication plant.


(Close up of ring flange)


Regular inspections by the fabricator and the contractor’s quality control consultants are being conducted. This ensures that the bridge is constructed to the highest standard of the design. Any steel not meeting the highest quality and safety specifications will not be accepted.


(Ring flanges and curved web elements)


The Project Director, along with representatives from MMM and PCL, visited the steel fabrication plant in China from April 27th to May 2nd to review the onsite steel quality oversight.


(Flange elements that will form the bridge rings)


Steel Fabrication – March 2015

Through 2014, much of the work on the Johnson Street Bridge took place on the west side of the bridge. In the coming months and throughout 2015, much of the construction work will shift to the east (downtown) side of the bridge. As the specifics of each construction phase are determined, the public will be informed and made aware of upcoming impacts to the public.


Steel Fabrication Restarts

Steel fabrication for the Johnson Street Bridge has restarted. An inspection last July found that some aspects of the steel fabrication had been undertaken outside of the design specifications, so the fabrication of steel was paused.



Regular quality inspections will be routinely conducted by the fabricator and the contractor’s quality control consultants on the steel fabrication throughout the entire process to ensure that the bridge is constructed to the highest standard of the design. Any steel that does not meet the highest quality and safety specifications will be not be accepted by the City.


The steel bridge has six main components: two rings, two forward trusses, a counterweight and the steel deck. The counterweight and steel deck connect the ring and truss structures together to form the complete bridge. After each ring and truss element are fabricated, they will be laid horizontally, assembled and tested. This process will be carried out on each truss and ring and then the same process will be repeated on the components in the upright position.


After the span has been erected, assembled and measured in position, the machinery responsible for the raising and lowering of the bridge will be installed. The various bridge components will then be painted and packaged for shipping from Shanghai to Victoria on an ocean freight vessel.





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